Monthly Operation Sessions
Operating sessions are currently on hold for the summer. We hope to start having them again in the fall.
Club members can run trains on the modular layout when ever they feel like it, but the 4th Tuesday of every month is reserved for a prototype operating session.
Prototype Operating Session? What is that? Well, that is when we stop running trains in circles with no real purpose, and try to run trains on the layout as if it were a real railroad. Each train has a job to do. Specific cars need to be moved from point A to point B while avoiding all the other trains trying to do the same thing.
Currently, our operations nights are fairly simple, as the modular setup is small and uncomplicated. Jobs involve trains of about a dozen cars or so leaving the yard with an order sheet indicating where to go and what cars to drop off and / or pick up. We use a car for car system, if you leave two cars, you pick up two cars. The layout is self dispatched for the most part, so you talk to the other operators to negotiate passage around the layout. We hope to start using a dispatcher to control train movements over radios again soon.
While more simplistic than operating sessions we had before we started work on the new layout, they are still a lot of fun and help keep us practiced in operating. We hope to tie the modular layout and permanent layouts together in a few months to allow for more complex operations during the transition from the modular layout to the permanent one.
Here are a few photos from operating session (pictures taken by Fred B.)